The labels or video games genres for today’s PC titles have more than doubled since 2010! They now include popular tags such as twin-stick shooters, cyberpunk action-platformers, roguelike dungeon crawlers and newcomer metroidvania.
Considering that there are a handful of metroidvania type of games out there, Kunai is one of the many that has certainly stood out from the rest. It’s obvious that the term metroidvania comes from a delightful marriage between Metroid and Castlevania.
The first time I played it, I felt I was thrown back in a time where life and video games were much simpler and rather enjoyable. Kunai plays a lot like the classic Nintendo games. The only difference is that the story and gameplay designs have been adapted for today’s generation of casual gamers.
Kunai knows how to deliver what had excited us as teens, a reminder how good these classic games were to still play again as an adult. The story of Kunai is simple. Humanity is on the verge of being wiped out by an A.I. gone bad called Lemonkus.
The only hero who stands against this apocalyptic annihilation is a killer robot named Tabby. As Tabby, your primary method of attack is a katana. This is your main arsenal throughout the entire game. As you begin to explore new sections of the map, it’s amazing to see what a single weapon can do.
You will be able to deflect bullets and restore health with it, as you dispatch enemies like a knife through a stack of bad Twinkies. When you reach a certain level, you will gain a number of sweet “Kunai” gears that can propel you to new unimaginable heights!
These gears will allow you access to tight spots. Using your trigger buttons, you can deploy ropes and swing to where you need to be. The venture of being able to move from one area to another is amazing in this game. It’s fluid, precise, and a great fun!
The controls are given the right amount of versatility, which makes fighting against an army of rouge androids feel like you are one badass ninja. Because of the great controls, you’ are able to dodge incoming attacks and deliver accurate lightning-quick hits.
Not to mention, you’ve got shuriken and rocket launcher to maximize the brutal damage you can inflict on enemies who try to stop you. The gameplay is so smooth, you don’t even break a stride when switching weapons. The developer puts so much focus into the action that the animation has become effectively seamless!
The graphics may not represent the ideal high-end visuals that gamers are used to, but they are perfect rendition of what an 8-bit vibe should be. The game relies heavily on bright color palettes like the ones found on the Gameboy device. The tone or the mood even shifts focus on the screen, depending on the zone you are in.
From the very outset, Kunai has all the hallmarks of a true metroidvania. It features an incredible grappling mechanic, a fantastic pixel-art and an amazing soundtrack, which make exploring fun. The combat highlights all there is to creating a hero with agility, finesse, and near instantaneous kills.
The game progression is just right, offering new secrets and passage ways upon unlocking old roadblocks. It is just one of those classic games you can just pickup and easily feel right at home.
The developer nails the formula needed to produce an outstanding platformer. I can see how this game can be highly addicting; Kunai gets the 16-bit juice right while it whips its own unique style in the symbolization of what a traditional metroidvania is all about.